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What motivates people to action? How can that motivation be in service of realizing our highest potential? These are the questions that have intrigued Andreas Phelps for most of his life.
As a naturally curious person, Andreas’ Lean journey started well before being formally exposed to the theory. Early in his career, he was fascinated by the potential value that could be realized through integration; whether it was cross-system integration or integrated thinking across the spectrum of science, design, construction, use, and restoration. Some years later during his graduate work at Penn State, he was formally introduced to Lean concepts and became a passionate believer and advocate for Lean as a catalyst for unlocking the potential of teams and organizations.
We sat down with Andreas and he shared his perspective that psychological and sociological aspects of Lean are just as profound (if not more) than the technical. When done meaningfully, Lean tools and techniques force certain behaviors that drive awareness, transparency, collaboration, accountability, learning, and focus on whatever is most important. With Lean being such an amazing framework, Andreas believes that Lean can be a catalyst to improve our interpersonal interactions and outcomes in both work and life.
In his keynote address Transformation: The Nature of Work, Andreas plans to explore the idea of moving from the “work-life balance” concept to “work-life integration”. True integration occurs when we develop clarity of purpose, constantly strive to eliminate unconscious habituated actions, and seek genuine connection with others in service of that purpose. Through this intentional and authentic engagement, both work and life enable us in our journey to become our highest and best selves. Lean thinking and techniques provide a powerful framework to guide and support us through this transformation – whether individually or collectively.
We very much look forward to exploring this topic with Andreas during his speech at the 2022 LCI Congress on Wednesday, October 19th!
Andreas is principal and founder of The Collective Potential, a San Francisco-based practice that serves as a catalyst for change in the construction industry. The Collective Potential drives change by enabling:
1) project-based learning
2) development of high potentials into master integrators
3) strategic transformation of organizations focused on lean delivery and continuous improvement
Andreas’ background in construction over the last 19 years is wide and varied. He started his career working with building science, design, construction administration, and failures investigation for exterior cladding systems. This gave him a unique and holistic perspective of how complex systems are designed, constructed, and perform. This type of integrated systems thinking also served as a basis for his graduate studies which tied together organizational behavior, management science, and information technology to understand optimized information flow in complex teams. This research served as the foundation for his more recent work with understanding and proactively managing the social, technical, and technological aspects of project teams and organizations to enable greater productivity and innovation. He has also has published a book related to knowledge management and lean information flow entitled "The Collective Potential: A Holistic Approach to Managing Information Flow in Collaborative Design and Construction Environments."
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